Four-in-ten new vans on sale today do not come with an alarm as standard, an investigation by What Car? Vans has concluded.
The findings follow research highlighting how more than 43,000 vans have been stolen since 2016, with a further 117,000 broken into, costing drivers and businesses more than £61.9 million in lost tools and other items.
The What Car? Vans analysis found that just 58% of models come with a factory fitted alarm as standard. Another 36.5% were found to offer a factory fitted alarm as an optional extra, while 5.5% were not available with an alarm at all – although these tend to be older model iterations that will soon be replaced.
Other security features, like remote central locking, were better represented with more than 90% of vehicles featuring this as standard, while deadlocks – a locking mechanism that doesn’t use a spring, making it harder to pick – were standard in more than 80% of vans on sale.
The lack of alarm technology may help to explain the high number of van thefts in the UK. Between 2016 and 2019, 43,909 vans were stolen across the UK, which equates to more than 30 vans a day.
The worst area for van thefts was London, with 14,263 vans stolen in the four-year period, while 44,742 were broken into by thieves. Across all police forces, van thefts rose by 8.21% between 2017 and 2018. Theft figures for the first half of 2019 suggest another year of rising statistics, with more than 8,200 vans stolen in the first six months of last year.
“More than four million van drivers rely on their vehicle for work or business needs,” Jim Holder, Editorial Director at What Car? Vans, pointed out. “The fact that four out of ten new vans on sale do not feature a factory fitted alarm as standard is a cause for concern.”
“While newer vans and higher trim specifications now have many security features fitted as standard, it’s concerning to see owners of lower trim levels having to fork out extra for something as simple as an alarm – this underlines why van buyers must do careful research before purchasing their next vehicle.”